May 18, 2006

Two Truths equals one big lie...

Have the philosophies of the world crept into the hearts and minds of christian leadership (pastors, elders, worship leaders, deacons, theology students, etc)?

Consider some of these statements/questions; do they sound like statements/questions a Believer or unbeliever would be making/asking:
(1)

"A common misconception among American evangelicals, and one that cannot be supported by the Scriptures themselves, is that the Bible is the only source of truth,"

is the law of gravity an absolute truth?the fact that 2+2=4?safety belts save lives?smoking causes lung cancer?If these are absolutely true, where's the scripture reference? If not, why not?

'what kind of truth are we talking about?' If I'm on a search for mathematical truth, give me a textbook over the Bible any day!! The idea that the Bible has a monopoly on truth is preposterous, and, as professors at this college have clearly seen, it is also a dangerous claim.

how did people come to understand truth before there was a written word... what about the remaining places today where the bible is not available.

It does not contain all the truth we need. A lot of problems happen when we attempt to find every truth needed in the pages of the Bible.

What happens is that it is often twisted.

Is everything you need to know to have a successful marriage found in the Bible? No, but it does offer some guidelines. Is gravity? No.

PHC (and I fear many fundamentalist Christian institutions of higher education) has indeed become a place where students are not taught HOW to think but rather indoctrinated about WHAT to think.

If the Bible contained all Truth, why would we need the Holy Spirit to "guide us into all truth?"

"The Bible is the sole source of Absolute Truths." Except for, as has been stated, simple math like 2+2=4, or the number of bones in the human hand.

Is it [the view of absolute truth] perhaps grounded in certain extra-biblical philosophical presuppositions? Dare I say ANTI-biblical philosophical presuppositions?

To me all this emphasis on the Bible being 'inerrant' or 'the source of All Propositional Truth' or what have you is a lot like arguing that the number 3 is blue.

The Bible isn't inerrant and 3 isn't blue.

The only antidote to religious triumphalism is the readiness of communities of faith to permit doubt and self-criticism to play a vital role in the life of faith.

The notion that all truth is found in the Bible is preposterous.

The word "truth" is too loaded in this 21st century perhaps to continue this debate intelligently.

It appears we all have different notions of what "truth" is.

the Bible does NOT address every area in which truth has been found.

I believe that God has given us brains so we can explore God's creation through science, math, even law and politics.

This is not a denial of the authoritative and absolute truthfulness of Scripture. Rather, it's an affirmation of the command to love God with all our heart, soul, MIND, and strength.

It could be that we are using different definitions for 'truth'.

Saying that there is truth that "God created" and didn't put in the Bible does not take away from the Bible in any way whatsoever.

"Is the Bible the ONLY source of truth?" No.

Usually people who dogmatically assert that ALL truth is found ONLY in Scripture usually mean that ALL truth is found in Scripture as interpreted by their very narrow particular faith tradition which didn't exist until the 16th century anyway...

Would you have guessed these statements/questions were made from and by church leaders in the United States?

FOR DISCUSSION:
Are there two (or more) truths? Two gospels? Two Wills of God? How can or should the Believer answer these questions? Are these the type of statements/questions you would expect from leaders in your church? How would you answer them?

Footnotes:
1. Statements and questions excerpted from a blog discussion I participated in on May 17, 2006, http://www.mmiblog.com/monday_morning_insight_we/2006/05/where_does_trut.html

May 16, 2006

The "T" Word was used in church...shhhh

What is Theology?

The "job" as followers of Jesus Christ (Believers) and students of the Bible is to search out unity, coherence, consistent and meaningful parts and whole of Scripture in and through all things.

Defining theology through etymology (study of words):
ology = study of
Theos = God
(biology=study of life, zoology=study of animals, anthropology=study of humanity, etc)

Theology is the Study of God (Theology Proper is the study of God Himself in His Nature/character) and there are facets of study inside of Theology:
Christology = study of the 2nd person in the Godhead (character, life, nature, etc) of Jesus
Pneumatology = study of the 3 person in the Godhead, The Holy Spirit
Ecclesiology = study of The Doctrines of and in the Church
Eschatology = study of last days or end times

Theology has always been a part of higher education but has changed in the United States in scope, scale and philosophy (ideas have consequences) over the last 150 years.

The first change in philosophy, scale and scope was when theology was changed to "Department of religion".

Department of Religion has focused (scope and scale) on primarily two major areas:
1. Sociology (the study of gods in society and human social interaction)
2. Anthropology (the study of gods in cultures and humanities)
These of course have become very "niche" over time.

The ideas of these studies have then been reconstructed into "christianity" and taught as a "higher" education in knowledge and understanding. These ideas have had severe consequences in how Christians have been taught and trained in the basic and core Doctrines of Scripture.

(The "beware" Scriptures should come to mind when thinking of these philosophies)

Department of Theology has also been created in some higher education schools but not only study the Christian God (less and less) but ALL gods.

These two paradigm shifts (models) have had effects:
Department of Religion has led to:
Naturalism
empiricism
pragmatism
Relativism
and many more

Department of Theology has led to:
A multitude of spiritual worldviews
Maoism
Buddhism
New Agers
Apostleships
Post Modernism

All having their effect in knowledge, morality and reality.

Our goal as Believers must be to reveal to the world in our lives and speach the very Nature and character of Christ/God in all our heart, mind, soul and strength through unity, consistency, and coherence.

FOR DISCUSSION: (scale system: 1 being least important, 10 being most important)
IS Theology important? On a scale of 1-10; how important is it to: The common man? The church leader? The unbeliever? How many how many theological systems in Christianity can you name or think of? Do you see a link between the growth of sin in our culture and the lack of Theology or do you see something else? On a scale of 1-10; how important is Theology to you personally and your church staff/leaders?

May 10, 2006

The Bubble Boys...

We're all "Bubble Boys" trapped in a bubbled up worldview. The questions are, what has influenced our worldview and are they Biblical?

A person who is Catholic will for the most part be taught Catholocism by his parents, read catholic books and literature, listen to Catholic tapes and for the most part be "equipped" in the Catholic worldview.

So why does the evangelical Christian try to witness to the Catholic Christian? Because of Doctrine (teachings) and Theology (our study, knowledge and understanding of God).

So what happens if the evangelical is wrong? How do we test what we've been taught by our parents, teachers, books, radio programs, television programs, etc???

How do we know what IS (absolutely!) True?

Let's use the evangelical as an example: He will prove to the Catholic friend the Truth of his belief by testing the assumptions of the Catholic Teaching (doctrine) of Mary being a Virgin her whole life and perfect, without sin.

This assumes Mary either never had other children and never was intimately involved with her husband Joseph and that if she did have other children they too were conceived not by the seed of a man (or angel - as this would destroy the Virginity view as well as call into question the Father of Jesus).

I'm sure there are other items you can think of but that's the gist of discussing teachings (doctrine).

Why do we do it? Because we want to know the Truth!

So here are some items for discussion:
What worldview "system" do you associate with? Do you ever read books, listen to tapes, talk with teachers from other worldviews (not necessarily to convert but to know more about what they believe and why they believe it - for the purposes of being able to give an account for it inside your own belief)? Do you think doctrine is important? Why/why not? Do you think theology is important? Why/why not?

May 09, 2006

Let's begin shall we...

My journey as a Christianity began October 31, 1993 by the influencing power of the Holy Spirit. After my wife was killed in a fiery automobile crash, I knew I would have gone to hell if I had been in the car. I asked God to forgive me of my sins and to save me from my sin and life of debauchery.After attending Bible College in California, I served as a youth and associate pastor for a small church in the Colorado Western Slope Mountains. While searching and studying Scripture I began to realize that much of what I learned in Bible College was not necessarily True. I had been deceived and was both ashamed and upset.Over the next 5 years my life became that of a wilderness journey, specifically following after my own desires and assuming the "once saved, always saved" mentality.

After meeting with a Christian friend of mine over a weekend conference, we decided to meet for Bible Study and Prayer and through that, God brought me back from a life of debauchery.Through our fellowship I began to search the Scriptures and this time, it has been to know what is True...

That's what this blog is about, sharing my journey with you

Asking your opinions, input and discussion.

What do I hope to accomplish? Sharpness.

One of the BEST things that happened in my life was the Bible College I attended... The majority of my education was actually IN SCRIPTURE (a rare commodity indeed in most seminaries); verse-by-verse, through all 66 books and in-depth through 39 of both the Old and New Testaments.

Since my Bible College days and fellowship days, I have studied Systematic Theology, Reformed and Covenantal positions and I have moved away from dispensationalist (although I do have questions).

I hope you'll join me in my continued journey. Please be sure to post your thoughts, questions, ideas, etc.

Sharpness requires men of God to be willing to discuss God and our knowledge and understanding of Him. At times, it will be "testing" and others maybe even "frustrating" but none the less, sparks fly when iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17) and we come out sharp and "battle" ready for victory against the gates of hell.